Contributor’s Links post for February 2nd, 2019

Daily Links Post graphic

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We muse use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

77 Replies to “Contributor’s Links post for February 2nd, 2019”

    • I cannot seem to DL it so its title is “Modern Art is STILL Sh*t”., which simply shows what most of us have known for decades. Law, education, public safety, art, music(both “classical” and popular): is there ANY zone uncontaminated by the Left? IMHO time to put that rabid dog down.

      • Eeyore, this is front page material. Thank you, Michelle for not letting this constant assault on beauty go unanswered. Personally, I blame Marcel Duchamp and the Dadaists for unmooring grandeur and mastery from its pier of structure and letting the entire shambolic wreck drift out to an over-monied, Chardonnay sipping sea of Philistines.

        For those who can’t be arsed:

    • A pleasure to see you, Michelle.
      Your comments are always original. You cut through gristle like few others.
      I hope you’re on the mend. There’s a warm spot for you here all the time.

    Another page which says what we all know. Anyone with knowledge of the Dark Web and its secrets will become useful as truth is more important than drugs, sex or crime while it may become the ONLY way to arm yourself and protect your family. Before anyone asks, I am totally in favour of vigilantism when the law continues its never ending failure to protect and punish and western police forces are already prepared to savagely attack/gaol any vigilantes just as they are, those non-muslims involved peaceful demonstrations:

  2. END OF EU: ‘Religious’ ideologue and euro failure threaten Juncker’s dream with COLLAPSE (express, Feb 2, 2019)

    “FAILURE to strengthen the eurozone, demands for more sovereignty and contempt for voters are driving the European Union to its end, several scholars specialised in European policy have claimed as they forecast Jean-Claude Juncker’s dream could come to an end “within 10 years”.

    Academics across the European Union have issued a damning review of the state of the project, warning top Eurocrats their pursuit of further integration is fuelling growing dissent among EU voters. As Italy descends towards the brink of recession threatening the stability of a fragile eurozone, eastern European countries have been increasingly voicing their dissent towards the plans for the future of the European project and demanded control over matters of national concern be returned to them. With Brexit on the horizon, experts in EU policy have warned the bloc changes will have to be made to the inner structure of the European Union machine to save it from total collapse.

    Craig McKinley MP, a staunch supporter of the Brexit campaign, suggested the “quasi-religious” regard the European Commission and its boss Jean-Claude Juncker have for the European treaties could be a driving force of dissent among EU member states craving more independence.

    Speaking to last year, Mr McKinley said: “The Commission is the guardian of the treaties, it has almost become a quasi-religion for them, ‘how dare any country even want to leave?’ The EU has got some significant problems.

    “You’ve got a parliamentary election next year on the backdrop of an increasing number of the countries that are concerned about the direction of travel. There’s certainly Italy, one of the big four, that has had a complete change of Government recently. Greece is obviously desperately unhappy with the situation it finds itself in.

    “If it doesn’t change quickly and reflect what people are saying, I think it’s got real difficulties in the future. The EU you see today is going to be a very different one in 10 years time.”

    European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker used penultimate State of the Union speech in 2017 to urge member states to accept proposals for increased cooperation with Brussels in the future – suggesting the bloc should agree to elect a common Finance minister to manage the eurozone.

    In addition to Brexit negotiations, the European Union has been juggling with increased pressure from Hungary, Poland and Italy to stop interfering with national policies.

    But unexpected actors have been slowly joining forces to mitigate attempts at further integration – especially economic – proposed by the echelons of the bloc and key member states such as France.

    EU expert Rem Korteweg said: “I think this very clearly, particularly in one specific area, which is the Northern European creditor area.

    “The Netherlands, along with seven other smaller eurozone and non-eurozone members have been quite vocal in terms of pushing back against Commission and French ideas to further integrate the eurozone.

    “This group of eight countries goes by the name of the Hanseatic League and they are the three Baltic states – Finland, Denmark, Sweden – Ireland and the Netherlands. These are eight smaller countries which have signalled their discomfort with Commission, or more French, plans to deepen and further integrate the Eurozone to give the Eurozone a proper budget to perhaps moving toward the setting up of separate structures inside the European Union to manage the Eurozone.”

    Dr Korteweg warned Brussels a “systemic shock” to the integrated monetary system of the EU – including a potential fallout of the Brexit negotiations or a recession – could threaten the stability of the bloc as a whole.

    He added: “I think there’s awareness the Eurozone is very much still a work in progress and that means any systemic shock – whether its Brexit or its an EU trade war or whether it’s just the systemic vulnerability in some of the Southern European states – can still undermine the project.”

    Italy emerged as a significant menace to the bloc due to repeated clashes the populist Government led by eurosceptic Matteo Salvini and Luigi di Maio have had with Brussels since coming into power in the summer of 2018.

    Both leaders have threatened to cut off contributions to the common budget to obtain more control over policy-making, especially in regards to immigration and deficit goals. The leaders of the populist Government had also expressed support for a referendum on euro membership.

    European Affairs expert Ian Kearns said: “It would be fatal to the entire European project were a country like Italy to leave the single currency.

    “If Italy were to leave there would be speculation that others would be forced out, or that others might one day follow. That would be enough for markets to stop lending to those countries and the bailout mechanism of the single currency would be simply insufficient to cope.

    “There would be no longer any appetite to provide bailouts from those countries that have money and there’s no longer any appetite for more austerity in countries that would need to borrow in bailouts scenarios.

    “I think there would be an unravelling of the single currency which would lead to a breakdown in the intra-European trade payment system, a fragmentation of the single market, the re-imposition of non-tariff barriers. That, for all intents and purposes, would be the end of the European Union.”

    While the threat of a withdrawal from the Eurozone holds political clout for Rome, the Italian Government would first have to change the country’s constitution as Article 75 of the text of law does not allow for referenda on international treaties such as the one covering membership of the Euro and the European Union.

    Hungarian economist Andrea Hosso last year also concluded attempts to “force” plans for an “aggressive federalisation project” have already begun to show signs of a backlash among member states.

    Ms Hosso said: “I said in my answer when talking about the 50-year horizon, I’m not sure that the EU will be around in 50 years. I didn’t give a year but actually, I do stand by that.

    “They should try to change and convert the EU into a union which really is based on shared interests among the member states. They haven’t changed that so they are going to forge ahead with this very aggressive federalisation project that they pursue politically and economically and it’s going to have a backlash.””

  3. University speakers should not be banned just because they ‘offend, shock or disturb’ students (telegraph, Feb 2, 2019)

    “University speakers should not be banned from campus just because they “offend, shock or disturb” students, the Government’s first “safe spaces” guidance says.

    It is the first time in 30 years that ministers have intervened to protect free speech at universities, and follows widespread concern about censorship of “unfashionable” views.

    The 53-page document, published today, says the universities must seek to “widen” debate rather than narrow it. It says that the starting point should be that any event can go ahead, so long as it is within the law.

    This is the first Government intervention since the free speech duty imposed on in universities, polytechnics and colleges which was introduced as part of the Education Act in 1986.

    Chris Skidmore, the universities minister, said that in recent years campuses have seen the emergence of so-called “safe spaces”, where people are protected from opinions they find offensive. He described how “no platforming” has seen activists attempt to shut down speakers they disagree with.

    Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he said that the rise of these phenomena have led to concerns about an “institutional hostility to free speech” on university campuses and an environment where people feel afraid to voice “unfashionable or controversial views”.

    He said that there are currently numerous pieces of disjointed regulations on free speech which risk being exploited by those wishing to shut down certain points of view.

    Universities must currently comply with the Equalities Act, Prevent duty and the universities’ regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), which has the power to fine or even de-register universities that fail to protect free speech. Students’ Unions are often registered charities, and so must comply with charities law.

    Mr Skidmore that some universities have been inadvertently “stifling debate” on account of their misinterpretation existing advice.

    The new guidelines, which aim to coherently define student unions’ and universities’ duties surrounding free speech, were drawn up by the Department for Education, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the Charity Commission, the Home Office and several other higher education organisations.

    “Everyone has the right to express and receive views and opinions, including those that may offend, shock or disturb others,” the guidance says. It adds that “pressure” from students should not lead to “self-censorship” of course content or speaker events organised by lecturers.

    Universities should support their staff if they are under fire from students for their academic work, to “make sure that the pressure of student complaints does not lead to self-censorship”, the guidelines say.

    The publication of the guidelines follow a string of recent events at universities across the country where free speech appeared to be under attack.

    Last year Bristol University’s students’ union backed proposals to ban any “terf” speakers who question the transgender status of women.

    Terf, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, is generally used as a derogatory term to describe those who believe that “identifying” as a woman is not the same as being born a woman. It can also refer to people who are deemed to hold “transphobic” views.

    Students at Cardiff University have previously tried to ban the feminist writer Germaine Greer from speaking on account of her comments about transgender people, and Peter Tatchell, the veteran gay rights campaigner, has also been a victim of “no-platforming”.”

    • The 53-page document, published today, says the universities must seek to “widen” debate rather than narrow it. It says that the starting point should be that any event can go ahead, so long as it is within the law.

      All of which is rendered £ü¢kiñg MEANINGLESS when Rule of Law’s primacy has been perverted with draconian rulings about “hate speech”, “microaggression”, “Islamophobia”, “Homophobia”, “Transphobia”, “Phobophobia” or any other such open-grave of petulant snowflake twaddle.

      That “within the law” stipulation is weasel-wording on an identical par with Islam’s own football pitch-sized escape hatch in sura 33.

      Quran 5:33- “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

      That one word, “mischief” is so magnificently nebulous as to where its intentionally vague meaning can be interpreted as anything from burning down a mosqueful of worshiping children to merely farting in Islam’s general direction.

      So it is with the once relatively pristine notion of Law. After twisting its meaning like so much saltwater taffy, the law can be used to selectively enforce totally arbitrary and unreasonable dicta. Few better examples exist than in California where the Governor has signed into law that knowingly exposing others to HIV will no longer be a felony (i.e., misdemeanor criminal charges only) but not using someone’s “preferred gender pronoun” can land you hard time in jail.

      No matter if it’s Islam’s dog-whistle of “mischief” or selective enforcement against Western code-speak “phobias”, all of these constructs are excuses for employing terrorism against people. Whether it comes beturbaned or hiding behind a badge, both wage war on free individuals and destroy Liberty in the name of pseudo-morality.

  4. Iranian media: Attack on paramilitary base kills 1, wounds 5 (abcnews, Feb 2, 2019)

    “Two attackers scaled the wall of a Basij paramilitary base and opened fire, killing one member of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard and wounding five others in the southeastern town of Nikshahr, Iranian media reported Saturday.

    Nikshahr prosecutor Mohsen Golmohammadi told the semi-official Mehr news agency the victim was a “member of the Guard” and identified him as Morteza Aliahmadi. He did not elaborate on Aliahmadi’s rank. The Basij is affiliated with the Guard.

    Golmohammadi said both attackers escaped.

    No group immediately claimed responsibility…”

    • They escaped!
      This could be a small but specialized commando team of the Saudi type I mentioned some time ago.
      Now, they’re instilling fear into the IRGC.

  5. Egypt Parliament Calls for ‘Measures’ Against HRW (aawsat, Feb 2, 2019)

    “Parliamentary and political forces in Egypt called on Friday for taking measures against the New York-based Human Rights Watch organization for publishing claims against the country and for meeting with suspects involved in terrorist cases.

    In late January, Egypt said HRW should be more accurate in publishing data on human rights in Egypt.

    Two days ago, Egypt’s public prosecution issued a statement over the organization’s report about the torture of citizens accused in terrorism-related cases.

    It said investigations, carried out by Cairo appeal prosecution, revealed that the report was based on information published in some Internet websites without making sure of its veracity.

    In September 2017, HRW published a report claiming that citizens, involved in terrorist cases, were exposed to torture by the members of the prosecution during investigations in order to force them to confess to crimes in these cases.

    Mohammed al-Ghoul, a Member of Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, said he would submit a parliamentary memorandum to the International Cooperation Department at the Office of the Attorney General to issue an official complaint against the non-governmental organization.

    The MP said HRW mentioned that it based its report on meetings held with a group of Egyptians, refusing to list their names, while, in fact, members of the NGO met with three terrorists accused of committing murder and terrorist acts.

    Ghoul said HRW exposed the names of officers and prosecutors who had conducted investigations with those suspects, a behavior that could put the officers and their families at risk.

    Chairperson of the Egyptian Conference Party, Omar El-Mokhtar Semeida called on taking necessary measures against HRW, accusing it of spreading lies against the Egyptian State.

    “Reports on Egypt published by the organization in the past years are clearly politicized,” Semeida told Asharq Al-Awsat on Friday, adding that during its investigations, HRW relied on the provocative testimonies of members of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

  6. EXCLUSIVE: German ISIS wife explains why she joined, traveled to Syria (kurdistan24, Feb 2, 2019)

    “The German teenage wife of a reportedly influential Islamic State member told Kurdistan 24 on Friday about her motivations for joining her spouse under the group’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria.

    She introduced herself as Leonora, aged 19, and was with another woman of unknown origin named Sabina, both being held at a processing center in eastern Syria and both said to be wives of German Islamic State member Martin Lemke.

    He is accused of being an influential member of the group’s notorious intelligence service, known as the Amniyat.

    The two women had just fled the last pocket of territory controlled by the Islamic State, in Deir al-Zor Province along the Iraqi border, and were being detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They said that Lemke was suffering from an unspecified health condition and had been captured along with them.

    According to a 2017 report in Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper, Lemke first arrived in the terrorist group’s Syrian capital of Raqqa in November 2014. Shortly after, Leonora told AFP on Thursday, she had married Lemke to become his third wife.

    She was fifteen years old at the time.

    “I come to the Islamic State because I was [a] two month’s new convert and I want[ed] to live Islamic,” Leonora told Kurdistan 24 on Friday, sitting with a baby. “My parents are not Muslim… I come from a Christian family.”

    She introduced herself as Leonora, aged 19, and was with another woman of unknown origin named Sabina, both being held at a processing center in eastern Syria and both said to be wives of German Islamic State member Martin Lemke.

    He is accused of being an influential member of the group’s notorious intelligence service, known as the Amniyat.

    The two women had just fled the last pocket of territory controlled by the Islamic State, in Deir al-Zor Province along the Iraqi border, and were being detained by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). They said that Lemke was suffering from an unspecified health condition and had been captured along with them.

    According to a 2017 report in Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper, Lemke first arrived in the terrorist group’s Syrian capital of Raqqa in November 2014. Shortly after, Leonora told AFP on Thursday, she had married Lemke to become his third wife.

    She was fifteen years old at the time.

    “I come to the Islamic State because I was [a] two month’s new convert and I want[ed] to live Islamic,” Leonora told Kurdistan 24 on Friday, sitting with a baby. “My parents are not Muslim… I come from a Christian family.”

    “It’s very hard, especially in the area where I live,” she said, referring to her province of origin in eastern Germany, Saxony-Anhalt. “It’s very hard to live like a Muslim.”

    After being in contact with Lemke, she decided to join him and traveled to Turkey to meet him. They soon crossed over the border into Syria and ended up in Raqqa, where they were married.

    Once in Syria, she said, “I have everything. I can marr[y], I can have kids, I can cover my face.”

    But, she added, she soon began to realize the true ramifications of what she had become a part of.

    “I wake up and I see that I was naive,” she said, and that she had become “part of terrorists.”

    As the Islamic State loses its grip on its last territory, residents of the villages the group now controls continue to flee to surrounding areas.

    “Our lives were very good in the first two years,” said Lemke’s second wife Sabina, aged 34, speaking of the period of the Islamic State’s prominence.

    “But then, there came a few problems from this to that.” After the fall of Raqqa, she said, “the problems were increasing.”

    “We wanted life under Sharia,” she answered, when asked why she had originally joined the Islamic State.

    “Just life, not death.””

  7. ‘Assassination Guide’ Directed at German Populists Posted on Antifa-Linked Site (breitbart, Feb 2, 2019)

    “Calls for the assassination of several major figures in the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), including detailed instructions on how to do so, have been found on a web platform linked to Antifa far-left extremists.

    The post was made on the infamous “Indymedia” web platform that has long been used by far-left extremists in Germany and called for the murder of several AfD MPs, including co-chairs Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel, Tichys Einblick reports.

    Under the title ‘The AfD and the election campaign!’ the post calls on Antifa members to examine the dates of AfD public appearances and study maps of venues to escape once they have finished their assassination.

    “Antideutsche Antifa Untergrund”, or Anti-German Antifa Underground, claim authorship of the article which was posted on January 30th, and add that assassins should work in teams of two with women of migrant backgrounds being the most preferable assassins, as the group claim they will be less likely to be scrutinized.

    The authors then recommend that others distract the bodyguards of the AfD politicians while the two main assassins, “Slowly pull the weapon and fire the weapons from different positions Double tap on the head of the target.”

    “Afterwards everyone takes care of his condition alone and on his own responsibility,” they add, and tell followers to destroy clothing and any vehicles used in their escape.

    For weapons, the authors call on Antifa extremists to travel to countries like the Czech Republic or Austria and find “Firearms made of a polymer composite. The Glock 20 10mm is ideal.”

    In a statement on the issue AfD foreign spokesman Petr Bystron said, “I was one of the first politicians to call for Antifa to be declared a terrorist organization, and I hope that law enforcement will react now before it is too late, otherwise the blood of the next victim will be on the government’s hands.”

    The post comes after another on Indymedia which took credit for the brutal attack on Bremen AfD chairman Frank Magnitz last month.

    The notorious website “linksunten”, which was also hosted on Indymedia, was shut down in 2017 following the mass far-left extremist violence at the Hamburg G20. Antifa members and other alt-left extremists would routinely post credit for attacks to the site.

    On Thursday night, another attack took place against an AfD MP in Berlin, with three masked far-left extremists torching the car of a local politician in the area of Neukölln.

    Police say that one of the suspects has been identified as a former employee of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, an “anti-hate” organisation headed by former Stasi informant Anetta Kahane. The 39-year-old suspect is also described as an extremist expert and author.

    Executive Director of the foundation Timo Reinfrank distanced himself from the alleged actions of his former colleague, saying: “We strongly condemn this offence, as we condemn all other forms of political violence. Violence is not a means of political conflict, no matter which direction it comes from.””

    • Calls for the assassination of several major figures in the populist Calls for the assassination of several major figures in the populist Alternative for Germany (AfD), including detailed instructions on how to do so, have been found on a web platform linked to Antifa far-left extremists.far-left extremists.

      Anyone with a primary school education knows well enough that just exchanging placement of the words “Alternative for Germany” and “Antifa” produces entirely different (i.e., other-than-intended) results.

      Welcome to a morally inverted revision of, “The Boy who Cried Wolf”. In this updated tale, the lupine snarls of a black bloc boy keep alarming law abiding villagers to the point where their patience snaps and suddenly the entire town becomes not-so-law-abiding.

      Antifa is overtly calling for selective “assassination” of an opposing political group. The fact that whatever broadcasting “web platform” has neither withdrawn nor criticized this Anarchistic call to arms is both an explicit and overt agreement with such a statement.

      These anti-Fascist thugs always call upon everyone to follow their example of lawlessness. Are we truly to believe that they’re incapable of imagining how others might agree with declaring “open season” in an entirely different manner? At this point, it is beyond clichéd to cite the Law of Unintended Consequences™. That threshold was crossed with the Millenium.

      In both of the following cases, any extended olive branches were ashed long ago. What soupçon of mercy is to be floated towards such blackguards as these vicious, belligerent thugs? Shouldn’t it be the same pittance doled out out to Islam’s vicious, belligerent thugs?

      What should be made of the Left’s near-unanimous urging that, instead, we sate our ravening MME enemies with enough material support (i.e., food) and legal loopholes—be they at home, infiltrating borders or queuing for visa and assistance windows—to afflict Western cultures with permanently lodged sand chiggers parasites?

      Again, this is a brazen declaration of war against civilization that only can be ignored at great peril.

      • Meanwhile, Ralph Goodale is more worried about the Far-Right.
        Antifa is Antifa, regardless of its location. Their goal doesn’t change, aka destroying pro-Western populism.

    • Germany: AfD diesel ban protest met by antifa counter-protest in Stuttgart

      Minor scuffles broke out between police and antifa protesters who were countering an Alternative for Germany (AfD) diesel ban rally in Stuttgart on Saturday.

      Around 50 AfD party members and supporters had gathered on a bridge to condemn Stuttgart’s driving ban for certain diesel vehicles enforced since January 1.

      Around 40 counter-protesters mobilised under the slogan, “The AfD is not the solution – for anything” and reportedly tried to limit AfD members’ access to the bridge when the scuffles broke out.

    • Germany: Protesters rally against AfD convention in Rangsdorf

      Over 200 protesters armed with banners, posters and whistles marched through the small town of Rangsdorf in Brandenburg to protest against the AfD Brandenburg convention which was taking place on Saturday at the Hotel ‘Seehotel Berlin-Rangsdorf’.

      No incidents were reported by police who monitored the demonstration. The AfD convention is a two-day event.

  8. Turkey warned over Venezuela gold trade (bbc, Feb 2, 2019)

    “The Turkish government is coming under renewed pressure to stop buying gold from Venezuela, the BBC has learned.

    A senior Western diplomatic source told the BBC that Turkey was now considered the main concern among the countries engaging in the trade.

    They added that there are growing suspicions that gold exported to Turkey was ending up in Iran, which would violate US sanctions.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan backs Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who is facing a growing political challenge.

    Venezuela’s gold trade with Turkey is soaring. Last year, the country exported almost $900m (£688m) worth of gold to Turkey, ostensibly to be refined there and returned to Venezuela, although there is no record of re-exportation.

    American government officials have previously warned that some of the gold may be heading via Turkey to Iran, which would violate US sanctions.

    The BBC has been told that Ankara has received fresh warnings about potential sanctions-busting.

    Moreover, Turkey is now seen by Western governments as posing by far the biggest concern regarding the trade, over and above Russia and the United Arab Emirates, both of which are also reportedly receiving the gold.

    On Friday, US Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, warned the UAE and Turkey not be “accomplices” in the “outrageous crime” of shipping gold out of Venezuela.

    Russian and Turkish private jets appear to have travelled to Caracas in recent days. Ankara insists its trade is in accordance with international regulations.

    One of the private jets spotted travelling to Caracas in recent days belonged to Ciner group, a major Turkish mining company with close ties to President Erdogan.

    A Venezuelan opposition MP, José Guerra, claims a Russian plane belonging to the company Nordwind landed in Caracas with the aim of transporting at least 20 tonnes of gold out of the country.

    The Venezuelan government is accused by opponents of extracting gold in an illegal and environmentally damaging way, contaminating pits and running organised crime networks to control small miners, often with severe violence.

    President Donald Trump has signed an executive order banning US nationals from engaging in gold trade with Venezuela. That could be extended to third parties such as Turkey; the authorities in Ankara have been warned that they are skating on thin ice, sources told the BBC.

    Political relations between Turkey and Venezuela have flourished since 2016, with four visits to Turkey by Mr Maduro and a reciprocal one to Venezuela by President Erdogan in 2018 – the first ever by a Turkish head of state.

    It comes as Venezuela’s oil revenue is starved by sanctions and a drop in the oil price, forcing Caracas to seek revenue through other means, namely gold.

    Venezuela’s Industry Minister Tareck El Aissami visited a Turkish gold refinery in Corum, near Ankara, last month.”

    • They added that there are growing suspicions that gold exported to Turkey was ending up in Iran, which would violate US sanctions.

      Boy howdy. That must have taken all of the various “intelligence” agencies by total surprise. Who’s your uncle?

    • Venezuela: Anti-Maduro protest fills streets of Caracas

      Supporters of Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido filled the streets of Caracas on Saturday in protest against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

      Opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself interim president on January 23 after declaring Maduro’s January 10 inauguration illegitimate.

      Maduro has condemned the decision of a number of countries to recognise Guaido as Venezuela’s acting president.

      • Thanks. Was interesting. He needs USA and/or Israeli protection detail. Once officially elected, he’ll need military contractor protection.

        He’ll never be able to trust anyone within Venezuelan Secret Service who are all allied with Maduro and Cartels.

        He’s one hell of a brave guy.

  9. The Next Islamic Honour Killing in Germany: An Arab Stabs his German Wife to Death+++
    Hallway and wall are covered with blood, door sealed by CID. These are the last traces of a husband’s deadly knife attack on his wife!Wednesday morning, shortly after 6 am in the Cologne district of Bilderstöckchen. In the apartment of the married couple Karim B. (26 years old) and Romina C. (29 years old) there is a violent quarrel. Romina screams desperately for help. Her neighbour Kosta Papadopoulos (55 years old) listens to everything and wants to help the young woman. He said to the tabloid BILD: “I knocked on the door, screaming that the man should stop – but he did not open the door. Shortly before, Kosta alerted the police. The officers storm into the apartment. Kosta: “Romina was in her own blood, had stab wounds on her stomach and chest. When she was carried away, she said ‘Thank you’.” Doctors fight for her life in the clinic for hours – in vain. On Wednesday afternoon, Senior Public Prosecutor Ulrich Bremer confirmed the death of the young woman. Karim B. is suspected of stabbing his wife. He was arrested without resistance after the attack, but did not comment on the accusations at first. The public prosecutor’s office has requested an arrest warrant for manslaughter. An autopsy is now to clarify Romena’s cause of death.
    Read more:

  10. Three Charged in Connection with Radical Islamic Terror Attack in Strasbourg (breitbart, Feb 2, 2019)

    “A French judicial official says three people detained over the investigation into the Christmas market attack in Strasbourg that left five dead have been handed preliminary terrorism charges.

    The judicial official, who isn’t authorized to speak publicly about the investigation, wouldn’t name the three, who were arrested on Tuesday in Alsace, along with another two suspects who were freed without being charged the next day.

    The judicial official on Saturday wouldn’t confirm French media reports that they are suspected of helping the gunman obtain the weapon he used to carry out the December 2018 assault.

    The alleged killer, Cherif Chekatt, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. He died in a shootout with police two days after the Dec. 11 attack.”

  11. Man taken into custody after ’emergency situation’ sends Brisbane Airport into lockdown (9news, Feb 2, 2019)

    “Brisbane International Airport has been given the all clear to re-open following an “emergency situation” which unfolded on Saturday night.

    Queensland Police officially revoked the emergency declaration shortly before 11pm (AEST) with the airport announcing staff will return to the terminal ahead of passengers as they attempt to work through the delays.

    “It will take some time to get operations back to normal. There will be flight impacts. We appreciate your patience,” they confirmed on Twitter.

    The airport had been evacuated with flights grounded and trains stopped just two hours earlier as specialist officers descended on the terminal amid an incident in the departures area.

    “Specialist police have taken a man into custody,” Queensland Police confirmed on Saturday night.

    The man was taken to a police station for questioning over the incident, which authorities say is not terrorism related but a domestic violence-related situation.

    “No reported injuries to any members of the public or police,” police also noted, however they kept the Public Safety and Preservation Act emergency declaration in place for the next hour as specialist police conducted clearance searches of the International Terminal.

    It’s been reported that the man was brandishing knives in the food court, in the pre-security section of the terminal and had walked into the departures area with a silver box featuring exposed wiring, which he claimed to be a bomb, according to the Courier Mail.

    Queensland Police evacuated the International terminal of Brisbane Airport around 9pm (AEST) after police declared the Public Safety and Preservation Act “due to an emergency situation” unfolding.

    Passengers inside the terminal reported screams and chaotic scenes in the departures area and several Ambulances were seen arriving at the scene.

    International flights only have been delayed as a result of the situation, with domestic passengers unaffected.

    “Domestic operations are normal. International Terminal operations will resume once Australian Federal Police business is concluded,” Brisbane Airport tweeted.”

  12. SOUND IDEA Lasers could beam messages directly to a listener’s ear ‘like whispering secret from afar’, scientists say

    It’s hoped the technology could one day be used for headphone-free TV watching without disturbing others or warning people of danger discreetly in situations like an active shooter attack

    LASERS could be able to beam messages directly to a listener’s ear, like “whispering a secret from afar”, according to scientists in the US.

    The laser interacts with water vapour in the air, as scientists created sounds in a localised spot that were loud enough to be picked up by human hearing if aimed near a listener’s ear.

  13. {Richard: China opened the door and now the trickle has started, how long before it is a flood? This is a very slippery slope that we are walking on, I don’t see any possible future where this doesn’t become routine in embryos and once it becomes safe in adults.}

    New U.S. Experiments Aim To Create Gene-Edited Human Embryos

    A scientist in New York is conducting experiments designed to modify DNA in human embryos as a step toward someday preventing inherited diseases, NPR has learned.

    For now, the work is confined to a laboratory. But the research, if successful, would mark another step toward turning CRISPR, a powerful form of gene editing, into a tool for medical treatment.

    A Chinese scientist sparked international outrage in November when he announced that he had used the same technique to create the world’s first gene-edited human babies. He said his goal was to protect them from infection with HIV, a claim that was criticized because there are safe, effective and far less controversial ways of achieving that goal.

    In contrast, Dieter Egli, a developmental biologist at Columbia University, says he is conducting his experiments “for research purposes.” He wants to determine whether CRISPR can safely repair mutations in human embryos to prevent genetic diseases from being passed down for generations.

    So far, Egli has stopped any modified embryos from developing beyond one day so he can study them.

  14. First Private Lunar Spacecraft Shoots for the Moon

    0 0


    First Private Lunar Spacecraft Shoots for the Moon
    Art depicting SpaceIL’s Beresheet Lander on the moon.
    Credit: SpaceIL

    John Horack, Neil Armstrong Chair and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, The Ohio State University

    “Moon of Israel” is an epic 1924 film from the golden era of silent movies, and helped launch the directing career of Michael Curtiz, of “Casablanca” fame. Sequels seldom live up to the original. But if Israel’s plans to put a robotic lander on the moon in February 2019 can be considered a sequel, this new “Moon of Israel” mission, led by the nonprofit company SpaceIL, will be a blockbuster in its own right.

    Lunar landings date back to the 1960s. The United States landed 12 people on six separate occasions as part of the Apollo program, along with robotic spacecraft such as Surveyor, which served as a precursor to human missions. The Soviet Union preformed robotic Luna missions and landed Lunokhod automated rovers in the 1970s. Most recently China landed the Chang’e 4 robotic probe on the back side of the moon. These missions are all amazing technical accomplishments, and marvels of human know-how, sponsored and built by large government space agencies.

    {Richard: While this is good news the private for profit companies in the US are ther future of space exploration. Very few people remember that NASA wasn’t suppose to become a launch service, it was suppose to develop the technology and then turn that tech over to private industry to develop for the exploration and exploitation of space. Despite what the left wants us to think private industry will see costs go down safety go up and new technologies and drives developed at a faster rate. The government programs of all nations don’t really care about their jobs and the development of new tech is desirable only when they can write new papers on the new tech and get praised by their pears. Now that the private for profit companies are in the space business mankind is finally headed out to fulfill our destiny of exploring the entire Universe.}

    • Now that the private for profit companies are in the space business mankind is finally headed out to fulfill our destiny of exploring the entire Universe.

      Thank you, Richard, for maintaining this crucial perspective about humanity’s interstellar future. I actually had a relatively intelligent person try and shrug off (or corner me) with the tired old line of, ‘what will it all matter when our sun explodes in several billion years?’

      Immediately, I retorted; “In way less than a billion years we will be exploring other solar systems.”

      If we haven’t gotten that far by then, it’s likely we never will.

  15. Right on cue, CNN delivers the fakest of fake news about a flailing Gov. Northam
    By LU Staff February 2, 2019

    CNN hasn’t exactly been the gold standard of journalistic accuracy or integrity in recent years, but the cable network’s coverage of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on Friday evening set a new bar that’s low even for CNN.

    The governor had a tough week, first gaining notoriety for supporting a full-term abortion proposal in the state legislature with language that basically outlined infanticide. He followed that up with a Friday from hell, in which yearbook entries from the 1980s linked him to a photo of men wearing black-face and Ku Klux Klan attire, along with a racist-sounding undergrad nickname at VMI.

    Northam later had to acknowledge he was one of the men in the embarrassing photo. A growing chorus of Northam’s fellow Democrats is calling for him to resign from office.

  16. Presidential hopeful Joe Biden once openly endorsed segregation, calling it ‘black pride’
    By Daily Caller News Foundation February 2, 2019

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and a possible candidate in the next presidential election formerly argued that integration would keep black people from fully embracing their identities and rejected busing as an attempt to desegregate schools.

    According to The Washington Examiner, Biden, who in 2012 told a black audience the Republicans are “gonna put y’all back in chains,” said in 1975 after facing criticism from white voters:

  17. Shooting in Turkish Cafe in Belgium’s Antwerp Injures 3 – Reports (sputniknews, Feb 2, 2019)

    “The nature and circumstances of the incident are unknown at this point. According to the VRT TV station, there are tensions between the Turkish and Kurdish communities in this area of the city.

    At least three people were wounded as a result of a shooting that took place in the Belgian city of Antwerp, VRT reported. According to the media outlet, two suspects have been detained by police, after they were disarmed.

    Police have cordoned off the area where the incident occurred, according to the broadcaster.

    ?The reasons behind the shooting are not immediately clear. However, as VRT noted, there are some tensions between Turkish and Kurdish communities in this area of the city.”

  18. Philippine troops battle Muslim militants after church blast (abcnews, Feb 2, 2019)

    “Philippine troops on Saturday clashed with Abu Sayyaf gunmen in fierce jungle fighting that left five soldiers and three militants dead, as the military pushed forward with a fresh offensive sparked by a deadly church bombing blamed on the extremists.

    Regional military spokesman Col. Gerry Besana said another five soldiers and 15 militants were wounded in nearly two hours of fighting between the army and about 150 Islamic State group-linked fighters in the jungles near Patikul town in Sulu province.

    The militants were led by Abu Sayyaf commander Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan, who is suspected of helping plot the Jan. 27 bombing of a Roman Catholic cathedral in the Sulu capital of Jolo that killed 22 people and wounded more than 100. Sawadjaan apparently withdrew and escaped with the rest of the gunmen, military officials said.

    President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government forces to destroy the Abu Sayyaf following the bombing of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral. The attack has renewed terrorism fears across the Philippines, where the national police have been put on full alert and security has been strengthened in churches, shopping malls and other public areas.

    The Abu Sayyaf, which has about 300 to 400 armed fighters, has been blacklisted by the United States and the Philippines as a terrorist organization because of years of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

    Government forces have over the years pressed on sporadic offensives to crush the group, including in Jolo, a poverty-wracked island of more than 700,000 people where Muslims are the majority. A few thousand Catholics live mostly in Jolo.

    Since the church attack, the air force has launched air strikes on suspected militant bases near Patikul and police killed a suspected militant on a raid in the city.

    Duterte told reporters earlier this week that the Jolo church bombing was a suicide attack carried out by a militant couple.

    Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said Friday that an Indonesian couple was behind the suicide bombing and it was aimed at fomenting sectarian conflict in the south. The Indonesian man reportedly used the nom de guerre Abu Huda and Philippine authorities said they would coordinate with their Indonesian counterparts to try to validate the identities of the two.

    Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said the government has not been able to confirm the involvement of Indonesian nationals in the attack.

    There has been speculation that the church bombing may be a diversionary move by Muslim militants after troops recently carried out an offensive that killed a number of IS-linked extremists in an encampment in the hinterlands of Lanao del Sur province, also in the south. The area is near Marawi, a Muslim city that was besieged for five months in 2017 by hundreds of IS-aligned militants, including foreign fighters.

    Troops quelled the insurrection, which left more 1,100 people dead, mostly militants, and the heart of the mosque-studded city in ruins.

    Duterte declared martial law in the entire southern third of the country to deal with the Marawi siege, his worst security crisis. His martial law declaration has been extended to allow troops to finish off radical Muslim groups and other insurgents, but bombings and other attacks have continued.”

    • Five Philippines troops killed battling Abu Sayyaf on Jolo (thedefensepost, Feb 2, 2019)

      “A “fierce firefight” on Saturday, February 2 killed five Philippine soldiers and three militants from the Islamist Abu Sayyaf group suspected of this week’s deadly cathedral bombing in the nation’s restive south, the military said.

      The soldiers battled Abu Sayyaf militants in Patikul on the southern island of Jolo in Sulu state, which is the group’s stronghold and near the site of double bomb attack on January 27 that killed 22 people at Sunday Mass.

      After the cathedral bombing, President Rodrigo Duterte singled out Abu Sayyaf – which has previously been blamed for some of the Philippines’ deadliest attacks – and ordered the military to “crush” them…”

  19. Passengers at the airport started tweeting around 9:45 that they heard a “bang” and then word began to spread.

    “Alright, so we’re in the Orlando airport this morning and all I hear is a loud BANG followed by people screaming. So naturally I thought there was some type of attack and started RUNNINNGGGGG. Spilling my hot coffee all over my hands,” one man posted.

    The incident appears to have affected the Southwest Airlines terminal but authorities haven’t confirmed that yet.

    A TSA agent may have attempted suicide Saturday morning at the Orlando International Airport, sparking confusion and concern and shutdown of portions of the busy airport.

    Little has been confirmed at this point, but Orlando police reported they are working an incident at the airport. “A person jumped from the Hyatt Regency Hotel into the atrium area of the airport,” police said. They have not released the individual’s name.

  20. Pope Francis hailed the United Arab Emirates, a majority-Muslim nation with a record of human rights violations, as a “model of coexistence” and freedom.

    Francis made the comments in a video message to the people of the UAE ahead of his visit to the country, which will take place between Feb. 3 and 5.

    The UAE is known for restricting free speech and assembly, sentencing criminals to flogging and stoning per Sharia law, and for the torture and forced disappearances of dissidents, activists and journalists, as well as negligence in addressing instances of sexual abuse against domestic workers. (RELATED: Francis To Become First Pope To Offer Mass On Arabian Peninsula)

  21. (CNN)Neighbors found unexpected warmth when they opened their front doors this week to the minus-14-degree wind chill in Morton Grove near Chicago. Handwritten notes left behind read: “My family and I are available if you need assistance in picking up groceries, medicine or removal of snow.”

    The notes came from Sabeel Ahmed, his wife Asma Naheed and their three children. The family went door to door, leaving those notes on 40 of their neighbors’ houses. Ahmed wasn’t looking for anything in return. He just wanted to push back against the cold that keeps people homebound and isolated.
    “We need to take care of our neighbors. That was a big motivation for doing this,” Ahmed told CNN. He said he decided to leave the notes after worrying about an elderly woman who lives next door.

  22. Border security experts told President Trump Friday that the border walls not only play an important part in stopping illegal immigration but have even saved children from sex trafficking.

    As the president continues to build his case for action — with or without Congress — he hosted sex-trafficking experts at the White House to hear about the latest scams, and what authorities are doing to stop them.

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reported on what she called a ‘child recycling ring’ that used illegal immigrant children to pave the path for other illegal immigrants.

    Carl McClafferty, associate chief for intelligence at the U.S. Border Patrol, said the managed to track down one of the rings and found a woman who was being paid $1,500 a child to collect them from the U.S. and take them back to Guatemala to be used in future migration efforts.

    “She claimed to do this 13 times,” he said. “We found out they were recycling these children.”

    Timothy Ballard, a former Homeland Security special agent and now CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, told Mr. Trump that fencing could actually help stop some cases of children being smuggled across the border for illicit purposes.

    He recounted one case where a girl was “groomed” in Central America, then smuggled across the southern border “where there was no wall” and taken to New York.

    He then described her horrifying situation of being “raped for money every day, 30-40 times a day.”

  23. Iran bans dogs from riding in cars and public walks in Tehran

    (CNN)Dog-walking has reportedly been banned from public places in Iran’s capital.

    “Certain people who bring their dogs to public places cause panic and anxiety among the public,” Tehran’s chief of police Hossein Rahimi told state news agency Young Journalists Club, or YJC. He added that local police have obtained permission from the judiciary to confront dog owners walking their pets in public.
    “People who walk their dogs in public places shall be dealt with severely,” he told YJC.
    Dogs will also be banned from cars, Rahimi said, underlining that “police will seriously confront dog owners who let their dogs ride in their cars.”

  24. Two U.S. immigrant rights attorneys and two journalists who have worked closely with members of a migrant caravan in Tijuana said they had been denied entry into Mexico in recent days after their passports were flagged with alerts by an unknown government.

    Their stories are nearly identical: All four report being detained by Mexican immigration authorities while trying to enter the country, and eventually being turned back because the authorities said their passports had been flagged.

    It is unclear which government or governments, if any, might have issued the alerts.

  25. Channel 4 – UK – Free speech debate: new guidelines to protect university speakers’ ‘lawful free speech’

    The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has published new guidlelines backed by the government and a host of higher education institutions to clampdown on censorship in universities across the country

    It comes after a number of high-profile incidents in recent years where people invited to speak at universities were “no platformed” by student unions due to concerns about their views.

    We’re joined by free speech activist and student Alex O’Connor and Senthorun Raj, a lecturer at Keele University who specialises in anti-discrimination law and human rights.

    • So geler and spencer will now be allowed to enter our country and speak?What bollocks ,since they have spent the last thirty years taking the right to free speech away,how is that going to work with the new mozlem blasphemy law all set to be introduced?

  26. Typhus Epidemic Worsens in Los Angeles
    A veteran city prosecutor is among the latest victims.

    A veteran Los Angeles City Hall official is one of the latest victims of an epidemic of the infectious disease typhus that continues to worsen across LA County.

    For months, LA County public health officials have said typhus is mainly hitting the homeless population.

    But Deputy City Attorney Liz Greenwood, a veteran prosecutor, tells NBC4 she was diagnosed with typhus in November, after experiencing high fevers and excruciating headaches.

    “It felt like somebody was driving railroad stakes through my eyes and out the back of my neck,” Greenwood told the I-Team. “Who gets typhus? It’s a medieval disease that’s caused by trash.”
    Rats Could Be Causing Typhus Outbreak in Los Angeles

  27. Survey Of European Jews: ‘Far Right’ Not To Blame For Most Anti-Semitism

    This week, on the day following International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Fiamma Nirenstein of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs — a think tank which describes itself as “a leading independent research institute specializing in public diplomacy and foreign policy” — published a post on “Holocaust Denial, Dementia and Israel.” Nirenstein referenced two recent surveys of European Jews on the scourge of anti-Semitism — one conducted by CNN and one conducted by the European Union.

  28. VoA News – It’s Trump’s Speech, but Women Have a Message, Too

    On Tuesday, President Donald Trump is to give his second State of the Union speech after a fight with lawmakers over border wall funding that triggered the longest partial government shutdown in U.S. history.

    Trump will address a Congress with a record number of younger members, minorities and women.

    He will also have to contend with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to avoid another shutdown in less than two weeks.

    White House correspondent Patsy Widakuswara has more from the White House.

  29. UK Yellow Vests protest London. 2nd February 2019

    With chants of “We’re not far right, we’re just right” hundreds of UK Yellow Vests protest Westminster, London 2nd February 2019.

  30. This article applies to all Western Nations that still have a percentage of their civilians armed and ready to fight for freedom.

    Venezuela, America

    The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is an entirely outmoded document! Useful at one time, It’s now an excuse for malcontents and fools to obtain weapons they invariably misuse. That, at least, is what a large segment of our political establishment would have you believe. Are they right?

    Into the debate comes the report of one Javier Vanegas. Mr. Vanegas, age 28, is a Venezuelan refugee living in Ecuador. He relates how his country of Venezuela was destroyed in “six short years”. It began, he tells us, when then President Hugo Chavez, taking a cue from Castro’s Cuba, decided to confiscate all civilian guns in 2012. An amnesty was declared, after which anyone caught with a firearm could spend up to twenty years behind bars. Despite this threat, only thirty seven guns were turned in. Nearly 12,500 had to be seized by force. When Chavez died, the policy of firearm confiscation was continued by his successor, President Nicolas Maduro. When members of the pro-democracy movement publicly protested the gun grab, over 200 of them were killed. When the police opened fire, all they could do was to throw stones. Predictably, Venezuela morphed into a complete dictatorship forcing over three million of its citizens to flee the country.

  31. Mary Poppins branded racist by US academic – for ‘blacking up’ in iconic sweeps’ rooftop scene

    Dame Julie Andrews’s performance as Mary Poppins is racist, says a US academic who accuses her of ‘blacking up’ when her face is covered with soot as she dances with chimney sweeps.

    The scene in which Poppins joins Dick Van Dyke’s Bert and his fellow sweeps on a rooftop for the song Step In Time is one of the best-loved moments in the 1964 Disney classic.

    But writing in the New York Times under the headline ‘Mary Poppins, and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface,’ Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner attacks the scene. Not surprisingly, the film’s legions of devoted fans have reacted with disbelief.
    The literature professor acknowledges that Poppins’s face is covered with soot because she has gone up the chimney with her charges, Michael and Jane Banks.

    ‘A nanny’s shame’: Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins and Dick Van Dyke as Bert get covered in soot for the much-loved scene in the 1964 Disney classic.

    But he writes: ‘Her face gets covered with soot, but instead of wiping it off, she gamely powders her nose and cheeks and gets even blacker.’

    He also links the scene to racism in the books by PL Travers, particularly in the 1943 novel Mary Poppins Opens The Door when a housemaid screams at a sweep: ‘Don’t touch me, you black heathen.’

    He writes: ‘The 1964 film replays this racial panic in a farcical key. When the dark figures of the chimney sweeps Step in Time on a roof, a naval buffoon, Admiral Boom shouts, “We’re being attacked by Hottentots!” and orders his cannon to be fired at the “cheeky devils”.

    ‘We’re in on the joke, such as it is: These aren’t really black Africans; they’re grinning white dancers in blackface. It’s a parody of black menace; it’s even posted on a white nationalist website as evidence of the film’s racial hierarchy.’

    Extraordinarily, Pollack-Pelzner has even found fault with the recently released sequel Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt.
    He said he was surprised by the song A Cover Is Not The Book because of its reference to a wealthy widow called Hyacinth Macaw, who wears ‘only a smile’ plus ‘two feathers and a leaf’.

    Fans heaped scorn on Dr Pollack-Pelzner, pictured
    In the original 1934 book Mary Poppins, the character is a ‘scantily clad negro lady’ who addressed the nanny in a ‘minstrel dialect.’ The racial references were removed in a 1981 revision of the book.
    Fans online have reacted with fury to the professor’s views. One derided the piece as ‘a candidate for the stupidest New York Times article for some time’.
    Another said: ‘Mary Poppins wasn’t flirting with black face! It was soot in their faces from being up a chimney!!!! Stop spreading racism claims on non-racist things like this.’ A third wrote: ‘Come on now, leave Mary Poppins out of this! Chimney sweeps in London DID have coal dust on their faces. Didn’t make them, or Mary for that matter, racist.’

    Last night, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, who collaborated on a 2004 stage adaptation of Mary Poppins that returns to the West End later this year, said the scene when the nanny puts soot on her face is meant to be a gesture of support for the sweeps.

    ‘All she wants to do is join the sweeps and show them she isn’t standing apart – that she wants to belong to that group. It’s a touching scene and it displays a warm friendliness towards the sweeps.
    ‘One of the subtexts of the whole thing is that the sweeps are these marvellous people, which is Travers’s way of saying there is no such thing as an ordinary man and woman.’
    The film remains one of the most successful ever made and picked up five Oscars, including Best Actress for Dame Julie.
    The sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, which features cameos from Meryl Streep and Van Dyke, has taken £245 million worldwide.

    Last night, Dr Pollack-Pelzner, who is based at Linfield College, Oregon, told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I don’t like hearing that something I loved and that something that was important to me in my childhood might be more troubling than I assumed. So I appreciate the strength of the reaction. ‘I just hope some of that energy can go to Disney as well and ask them to think a little bit more about how their new movies connect with the past.’

    Dame Julie was unavailable for comment last night.

  32. 8 Terrorists Killed in Western Egypt (aawsat, Feb 2, 2019)

    “Eight “extremely dangerous” terrorists were killed during an operation in western Egypt, announced the military on Saturday.

    Several others were arrested in the operation, said military spokesman Colonel Tamer al-Rifai.

    He added that three vehicles and several weapons were confiscated in the raid.

    The air force had provided intelligence information on the terrorist cell, as the anti-terrorism forces combed the area, said Rifai.”

  33. Somalia: US airstrike kills 13 al-Shabaab militants (aa, Feb 2, 2019)

    “At least 13 al-Shabaab fighters were killed in Somalia’s lower Shabelle region on Friday, according to the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

    The airstrike hit Gandershe village some 45 kilometers (27 miles) south of the Somali capital Mogadishu, AFRICOM said in a statement on Twitter on Saturday evening.

    “To support the Federal Government of Somalia’s continued efforts to degrade al-Shabaab, U.S. Africa Command conducted an airstrike targeting al-Shabaab fighters in the vicinity of Gandarshe, Lower Shebelle Region, Somalia, on February 1, 2019,” the U.S. military statement said.

    “U.S. Africa Command currently assesses this airstrike killed thirteen (13) militants. At this time, it was assessed no civilians were injured or killed in this airstrike,” the statement added.

    Adow Mohamed, Somali National Army (SNA) captain in lower Shebelle region confirmed the airstrike to Anadolu Agency over the phone.

    On December 15 and 16, U.S. forces operating in Somalia had conducted six airstrikes near Gandershe which killed at least 62 al-Shabaab militants, who were preparing for an attack on a Somali government military base in the region, according to the U.S. Africa Command.

    This airstrike comes three days after a U.S. airstrike that killed at least 24 al-Shabaab fighters in Shebeeley village of the central Hiran region.”

  34. Mosul: Where demons, women and ‘Islamic State’ met (DW, Feb 2, 2019)

    “During the IS occupation of Iraq’s Mosul, secret sessions were held for women to exorcise demons — despite the IS deeming them black magic and banning any alternative religious practices. DW’s Judit Neurink reports.

    “Women still come asking for the exorcism sessions,” says Othman, the muezzin who, five times a day, calls the faithful to pray at the Haiba Khatoon Mosque in the center of Mosul. He did the same during the three years Iraq’s second city was occupied by IS and recalls how women would flock to the mosque for the sessions held especially for them to evict djinns, as the Quran calls demons or supernatural creatures.

    Othman is sitting in the mosque’s gardens, where men are performing their prayers. This busy mosque near the University of Mosul is used a lot by traders, students and travelers who miss one of the set prayer times.

    It seems too busy a place for demon eviction sessions to have been held there, which hardly anyone knew about. Imams who returned to their mosques after IS left deny any knowledge of the practice anywhere during the occupation. “Most people in Mosul had no idea what was going on here,” Othman told DW. “Perhaps only those who regularly came to this mosque to pray.” The sessions were held between the midday and 3 p.m. prayer sessions, and only in the women’s section. “And the women only used the side entrance.”

    As a muezzin during the IS period, and fearing repercussions, Othman is reluctant to provide his family name. But since he had to enter it five time a day for the call, he had a key to the mosque and saw dozens of foreign and local women who turned up regularly for the sessions.

    One of the documented cases was that of a young Dutch woman who lived with her IS husband and two children just around the corner in a house they shared with another IS couple. The house is still standing, and its original owners have returned.

    Exorcising the demons

    Laura H. (whose last name is protected under Dutch law), spoke to Dutch writer Thomas Rueb about the experience. Rueb went on to write a book about it, which was published last year. She went to the sessions, known as rukyah in Islam, because she said her husband had molested her, and she sought the cause for his behavior within herself. Djinns were blocking her faith, which is why she was making mistakes, she was told.

    She said she saw women take off their gloves and sit in a small room with their palms upturned. She witnessed how they would all close their eyes and the man leading the session would start to chant texts from the Quran in a strange, high-pitched voice, gradually getting louder and louder. How he would hit the women on the palms of their hands — a scandal according to IS rules prohibiting all physical contact between men and women who are not married or related.

    She recounts how a young woman fell into a trance and pulled off her scarf — another taboo. Then how the women would start to vomit and fall to the floor as if they had lost control of their muscles. How they screamed, cried and laughed. When the session ended after some 20 minutes, the women rearranged their clothes and went outside in silence.

    The man who led the sessions was Abu Younis, a 55-year-old tailor with no Islamic education, Othman says. Younis had no ties to IS either, but because of his popularity, the terror group allowed him to conduct the rukyah in the mosque. This is quite extraordinary, as the group had deemed many other religious practices as shirk, or idolatry. It had forbidden the sales of amulets with Quranic texts and even executed those who offered services of this kind for using black magic.

    Did IS turn a blind eye?

    Before IS, these had been common practices for Sunnis in Mosul and elsewhere in Iraq. For women who desperately wanted a son, or others with illnesses that would not clear up, a visit to an imam or holy man for an amulet and a prayer would be called for. Others would pray at the graves of saints. According to witnesses in Mosul, exorcising sessions for djinns were also common, especially among Sufis. But Sufism, a branch of Sunni Islam that is more open to the occult, was forbidden by IS, as were all other faiths and customs that were not in line with the terror group’s Salafi interpretation of Islam.

    And yet the exorcism of djinns was accepted. That is because they are part of the Quran, says Jamal Hussen, an expert and writer on Salafi Islam from Iraqi Kurdistan. “According to the Salafi doctrine, women are more susceptible to a devilish djinn, because their perceived weakness and lack of intelligence are an invitation for the devil.” Perhaps that is why the eviction sessions only seem to have been attended by women; there is no mention anywhere of sessions being held for men during the occupation.

    In the Quran, djinns are a third kind of being, along with humans and angels. The latter are God’s messengers and created from light. Djinns are spirits created from a flame, Hussen says, and disguised from human senses. They can be both good and evil, and share some habits with humans, like getting married and having children. “There is a complete Sura in the Quran about djinns,” he says, and that is why they are part of the faith of Salafi groups like IS. During the war in Syria, the terror group repeatedly stated that they had angels and djinns fighting on their side against the unbelievers.

    The djinn method

    Conventional medicine would probably diagnose the symptoms of someone who is said to have been taken over by djinns as a psychological illness. But in place of medical treatment, Salafists subject the patient to sessions in which verses of the Quran are read and the djinn is ordered to leave the body. “Often, the patient will hallucinate or may suffer epileptic fits that can sometimes even lead to death. But then it is said that this is because the djinn refused to leave the body.”

    The exorcism should be conducted by a man, preferably old and known for his faith, Hussein says, but he admits it is strange that, in societies in which the male and female worlds are as strictly separated as they were under IS, a man should have led the sessions for women at the Haiba Khatoon Mosque. “It is known for men to have abused the situation and harassed the women,” he says. That is why some of the elders of Al-Azhar, the most influential religious university for Sunni Islam in Cairo, have said “this method is nothing but trickery and corrupt.”

    After IS left, Abu Younis was picked up by the Iraqi army, Othman says initially, only to contradict himself saying the man cannot be contacted as he has gone underground. Over a year after IS fighters were driven out of Mosul, there are still requests from women for exorcism sessions which would imply that Salafi women are still present in the city. But the Haiba Khatoon Mosque will not be providing them with what they want anytime soon.”

  35. Man, 32, ambushed by group of men in the carpark of a Sydney McDonald’s is found unconscious in a pool of blood with critical head injuries (dailymail, Feb 3, 2019)

    “A 32-year-old man has been left fighting for life after a brawl in a McDonald’s carpark.

    Police were called to the fast food outlet in Penrith, west of Sydney, about 1.30am on Sunday, where they found the man unresponsive and suffering a head injury.

    Pictures from the scene show a pool of blood in the carpark, and a bag, jacket and spilled box of chips nearby.

    Officers were told the man was hurt during a fight in the carpark with a group of men, all who fled the scene before police arrived.

    The 32-year-old was taken to Westmead Hospital.

    A second man, whose age is unknown, was also found in the car park with minor facial injuries and was taken to hospital.

    A spokeswoman for NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia the men were known to each other.

    In an unrelated incident which took place in the vicinity of the McDonald’s carpark, an officer was allegedly assaulted by two men.

    The sergeant suffered cuts to his face and was also taken to hospital for treatment.

    The two men, both aged in their 20’s, were arrested at the scene and taken to Penrith Police Station.

    They are assisting police with their inquiries.”

  36. “Hmm… Obama-era Act That Funded News Outlets To “Counter Disinformation And Propaganda” EXPIRED Right Around The Time Hundreds Of Far-Left Journalists Were Laid Off. Coincidence?”
    by CloverChronicle – February 1, 2019

    “VICE Media Lays Off 10% of its Staff”
    Styxh – February 2, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *